Tech giant unveils new office apps brrand

Google rolled out a new name for its suite of workplace apps Tuesday along with a slate of new features to make collaboration easier.

The package of services that includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive and others will now be known as Google Workspace instead of G Suite, the tech giant announced, touting the apps’ features as better integrated so people can use multiple functions at once.

For example, the revamped version of Docs, Sheets and Slides will let users open a video call within a document so the people working on a file can discuss it while it’s being edited. Users will also be able to create and edit new documents within Google’s Chat service in the coming weeks.

The new name and features will come with a new look. Google says it will roll out four-colored icons for the Workspace tools in the coming weeks to make their brand identity more consistent. That means Gmail’s signature envelope icon will be replaced with a blue, red, yellow and green “M.”

“Over time, our products have become more integrated, so much so that the lines between our apps have started to disappear,” Javier Soltero, Google’s vice president in charge of Workspace, said in a blog post. “Our new Google Workspace brand reflects this more connected, helpful, and flexible experience, and our icons will reflect the same.”

Google says the new “integrated” Workspace platform is now available for paying customers and will be expanded to consumers who use the services for free in the coming months. The company also revealed three pricing options for companies with fewer than 300 users that range from $6 to $18 a month.

Google’s changes to Workspace are similar to Microsoft’s “Fluid Framework” that lets users collaborate across its Office apps. They also come amid a period of growth for Google’s Cloud unit, which saw its second-quarter revenues jump about 43 percent to roughly $3 billion as the coronavirus pandemic sparked a shift to remote work.